A Patent is a written instrument issued by the national government, giving the inventor the exclusive right to use, manufacture and sell his invention or improvement for a given term of years within the United States.
Without a patent on his part, anyone else can make, use or sell anything he has invented. A patent secures to him the exclusive right.
Assignment of Rights.Every patent or any interest in a patent is assignable in law by an instrument in writing. The assignment must name the assignor and the assignee and their respective places (city and state) of residence; must designate the patent by its serial number and date of issue; and be exact and clear in stating the particular rights assigned, whether to make, or use, or sell, or all three; and the territory covered by the assignment. An assignee can in turn assign. An application for a patent, or an interest in such application, may also be assigned, in whole or in part. No assignment is finally valid until it has been recorded in the patent office at Washington.
A patent lasts seventeen years from its date of issue; after that anyone can make, use or sell the thing patented.
How Obtained.To obtain a patent, application must be made to the Commissioner of Patents, accompanied by carefully prepared papers and drawings, describing the invention. These are examined by the government officers to see whether the case is a proper one for a patent, and if it is, the patent (also called letters patent) is signed and sent to the inventor. Foreigners may also obtain patents as well as citizens of the United States.
A complete application comprises the petition, specification, oath and drawings and (when required) the model or specimen.
The Specifications.In framing the specification it is well to pursue the following order: > 1. Preamble giving the name and residence of the applicant and the title of the invention.
2. General statement of the object and nature of the invention.
3. Brief description of the drawings, showing what each view represents, unless no drawing is practicable.
4. Detailed description, explaining fully the alleged invention and the manner of constructing, practicing, operating and using it.
5. Claim or claims.
6. Signature of inventor.
7. Signatures of witnesses.
The Oath: The applicant, if the inventor, must make oath that he believes himself to be the first and original discoverer or inventor of the art, machine, manufacture, composition or improvement for which he desires a patent; and that to his best knowledge and belief the same was never before known or used.
Drawings.The applicant for a patent must furnish a drawing of his invention where the nature of the case admits of it. Drawings must be made upon pure white bristol board. The size of the sheet must be exactly ten by fifteen inches, leaving a margin of one inch all around the drawing.
All drawings must be made with a pen and with India ink.
The inventor’s signature must be placed at the lower right-hand corner of the sheet and those of the witnesses at the lower left-hand corner.
Drawings should be rolled, not folded.
Models must clearly exhibit every feature of the machine which forms the subject of the claim, but no other matter except for illustration.
A working model is best where it can be furnished.
Amendments.The applicant has a right to amend before or after the first rejection, and he may amend as often as the examining officers present any new references or reasons for rejection.
In case an applicant does not prosecute his application for two years after the date when the last official notice was made to him, it will be held that the application has been abandoned.
Extensions.Patents since March 2, 1861, can-not be extended except by Congress, and extension is seldom granted, the theory being that pro-longed title in a useful thing is against public policy.
Mark.Every patented article, before it is sold, must be marked patented, so as to give notice to everyone that it is patented. But after application has been made and before patent is-sues an article may be marked “patent applied for,” and sold.
Infringement is the making, using or selling the patented article without the permission of the owner of the patent. Its consequences are two fold: (1) The infringer must pay to the owner of the patent whatever damages the latter suffers through the infringement, equivalent usually to the profits which the infringer has made ; (2) the court will compel the infringer to stop.
By these two methods the exclusive right is enforced.
Fees Required by Law
1. Application. On filing each original application for a patent except in design cases, twenty dollars; and $1.00 for each claim in excess of twenty.
2. Original PatentOn issuing each original patent, except in design cases, twenty dollars, and $1.00 for each claim in excess of twenty.
3. In Design Cases.For three years and six months, ten dollars; for seven years, fifteen dollars ; for fourteen years, thirty dollars.
4. Disclaimer.On filing each disclaimer, ten dollars.
5. First Appeal.On an appeal for the first time from the primary examiners to the examiner-in-chief, ten dollars.
6. Later Appeals.On every appeal from the examiner-in-chief to the commissioner, twenty dollars.
7. Certified Copies of Patents.For certified copies of patents and other papers, including certified printed copies, ten cents per hundred words.
8. Recording.For recording every assignment, agreement, power of attorney, or other paper, of three hundred words or under one dollar; of over three hundred and under one thou- > sand words, two dollars; of over one thousand words, three dollars.
9. Copies of Drawing.For copies of drawings, the reasonable cost of making them.
10. Full Information.These fees may be paid to the Commissioner of Patents, or to the Treasurer or any of the assistant treasurers of the United States. If you desire to secure a patent write the Commissioner of Patents, Washington, D. C., and you will receive all the necessary papers, blanks, and complete instructions and directions.
CaveatThe old law of caveat was repealed July 1, 1910. Under that law an inventor could file a caveat (a notice or warning) of his claim, to prevent a grant of patent to another man for the same invention. The right of such notice perished with the law that conferred it, but the fact does not seem to be generally known.